A section of Uganda netball federation (UNF) delegates have picked up a campaign to oust current president Suzan Anek and General Secretary Annet Kisomose whom they accuse of none transparency, inefficiency and misuse of Federation resources.
Anek, controversially won another term in office last year in an election that saw more votes cast than the number of voting delegates present. On Saturday, the UNF assembly held at Kati Kati restaurant, Lugogo was aborted after delegates blocked the budget and financial report read to the assembly.
The most grounds on which the delegates based to trash the 2018 financial report and 2019 budget is the absence of the auditor –giving an excuse that he was busy. The other matter was that the federation could not show where its funding was to come from apart from the government –which virtually funds the national team (She Cranes).
As the temperatures went higher, federation president who also chaired the assembly opted to arrogantly bark at the delegates before she was later forced to apologize. Anek claimed that the financial reports were written by an Independent Audit firm from Lira which she never named.
The report was also not signed which forced Association of University sport (AUUS) representative, Florence Nakamya to lead the rubbishing of the ‘fake’ report. Nakamya, who is a renowned straight and outspoken sports administrator from Ndejje University, also offered herself to the federation if they needed her help to organize an authentic report at zero cost.
The report showed that the federation spent Shs1.832bn last year (2018) which included booking of accommodation for the national team in the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England at Shs200m.
The grand total spent also included buying of tickets to watch the same event (World Cup) at Shs22.8m although the tickets were not attached to anyone. When it came to the proposed 2019 budget, delegates became too bitter after it indicated that the federation would spend over Shs4bn with the She Cranes taking Shs3.3bn of the total.
The budget only indicated expected expenditures and not any source of income apart from government, something that perturbed delegates. “We are not against the federation, but are only raising our concerns. The budget they are presenting to us only shows expenditure but with no source of income, apart from government funding. What if the government doesn’t respond?” Mpoza Denis, one of the delegates wondered. “Each club pays Shs50000 annually, pay for registration and licenses. Schools also pay while tournaments also have participation fees whilst some She Cranes engagements come with sponsorship from hosts. Even if this little resource envelope all together, there needs to indicate it,” he added. The same scenario happened last year and in 2017.
The two assemblies prematurely came to end at the point of financial reports and budgets. Just like this year, the federation treasurer either does not appear or vanishes as his bit approaches. The federation has thus spent two years without audited books of accounts and budget bit shockingly attracts bigger funding from National council of sports (NCS) regardless of the fact.
Netball is the second most funded sport by the government after football but the pressure put on FUFA to account for the funds by NCS is not even a quarter of what is exerted on UNF, whose leader is related to a top NCS official.
In an earlier interview with Pepper Sport, NCS General Secretary Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel vowed to hold funding to federations that will not hand in audited books of accounts for previous funding from the government.
But with She Cranes already commencing with preparations for World Cup, Ogwel’s threats might be a ‘bridge without a river’. “The same thing happened last time. Even this time, you are claiming that the auditor is not around to read for us the report and actually we have never seen him before. We can’t allow that. This is taxpayers’ money. If he can’t be in our meetings, let’s suspend him and we appoint others who can,” delegates shouted at a seemingly bemused Anek. Other key issues that the trashed budget highlighted include; three build-up games for She Cranes in Malawi (April), Jamaica (May), and Australia (June) with each game surprisingly budgeted at Shs547.2m same cost. The budget also showed estimated She Cranes preparations at Shs304m (none residential) for the time in Liverpool before the World Cup.
It also showed a new bus for the She Cranes at Shs600m to be purchased and does not reflect players’ or technical team allowances. This particularly angered delegates; since in less than two years ago, Parliament bought She Cranes a new bus in 2017 at over Shs240m. Basing on the federations’ Executive no transparency, delegates agreed on a one and half months grace period for the federation to redraft the budget and fixed the return date as April 27 for an extra General Assembly to review the process.
It is in this assembly that a vote of no confidence to oust Anek is planned to be affected, according to sources. Pepper Sport though understands the same was decided last year and the Federation never called an extraordinary assembly to approve the budget and reports this far and business went on as normal. Out of the expected 156 delegates, 89 attended the Saturday assembly in person.